Journal of Dental Research
Dysbiotic oral microbiota has been associated with multiple sclerosis. However, the role and mechanism of oral microbiota in the development of multiple sclerosis are still elusive. Here, we demonstrated that ligature-induced periodontitis (LIP) aggravated experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in mice, and this was likely dependent on the expansion of T helper 17 (Th17) cells. LIP increased the splenic richness of Enterobacter sp., which was able to induce the expansion of splenic Th17 cells and aggravate EAE in mice. LIP also led to enrichment of Erysipelotrichaceae sp. in the gut and increased Th17 cells in the large intestinal lamina propria of EAE mice. Fecal microbiota transplantation from EAE mice with LIP also promoted EAE symptoms. In conclusion, periodontitis exacerbates EAE, likely through ectopic colonization of oral pathobionts and expansion of Th17 cells.